Donald Trump likes to speak of himself in terms of superlatives. Some examples include, “Nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have,” “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed,” “Nobody respects women more than I do,” and “With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held this office.” While each of those dazzling prodigies of exaggeration is laughably, hilariously false, there shortly will be one truthful superlative that Donald Trump can claim for his very own.
When Saturday, 12 January dawns, Donald Trump will be presiding over the longest government shutdown in history. The previous record, 21 days, was owned by Bill Clinton. At the time, the Republican Congress headed by Newt Gingrich wanted to steal from Medicare and Medicaid in order to balance the budget. Clinton disagreed. As Clinton went on to balance the budget and erase the deficit, the shutdown turned out to be a win for Clinton. Donald Trump will not be so lucky.
No historian worthy of that title is going to look back at this shutdown and see it as anything other than a failure for Trump. He had two years and a Republican Congress with which to fund his idiotic, pointless border wall and he consistently failed. How then, has it suddenly become a national crisis now that the Democrats are in charge of Congress?
A favored meme from the 1970s that secretaries used to like to put on their desks went something like, “Bad planning on your part does not constitute an automatic emergency on my part.” Trump played a lot of golf while his lazy, stupid and greedy Republican bootlickers in Congress did nothing to fund his wall. How they plan to suddenly hang this automatic emergency they so badly planned for on the Democrats is an obscene joke.
If the wall was so important all along, why has it taken them so long to notice? And if this so-called national emergency is new, where is the evidence? Remember what Trump said to Chuck Schumer, “I am proud to shutdown the government for border security, Chuck. I will take the mantle.” No sane person doubts that he will, whether he wants to or not.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.